A poop-storm is a-brewing

Came across this little nugget yesterday during my time spent online. Before I throw my own opinions about the subject matter out there, I do want to say that I don't think the author deserves the level of vitriol currently being lobbed her direction on her blog or on Facebook. However, I do think she's wrong on a variety of levels. Let's discuss...

Money quote #1:
"The National Guard spouses around here like to refer to themselves as 'Army Wives'. They aren't. I respect their significant others for the things that they do, but they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, soldiers."

I about fell out of my chair on this one. National Guard members are not soldiers? In what universe? Last I checked they all wear the same uniform - one that includes the tape "US ARMY" on the breast. Last I checked they have all sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Last I checked, they deployed at the request of the President and Congress (yes, it has to go through an additional level of state bureaucracy but it's still at the request of the President and Congress) to foreign countries. And that is IN ADDITION to their responsibilities to their home state. National Guard members are soldiers on many different levels - not JUST the Federal level.

Money quote #2:
"I agree, your husband got deployed, just like mine, but when he came home, he knew he wouldn't get deployed again for at least another four years, in which time he probably wouldn't have re-upped his contract. "

Funny...I have several NG friends who have recently wrapped up one overseas deployment (and that's in ADDITION to time spent away from their families doing train-ups prior to actually deploying) and are already (in less than 4 years) gearing up for the next one. Thank you for playing.

And really? We're going to turn the number of deployments or their length into a pissing contest? Oh, honey...you have SO much to learn.

Money quote #3:
"I guess what I'm trying to get at here, is that I would really like people to stop jumping down my throat when I tell them that they are not an Army Wife. I'm not trying to imply that you're any less of a person. I'm not trying to imply that your husband is any less of a man. I applaud him for what he did, if he got deployed, and I respect him for that. I applaud him for the time that he does give up, on his one weekend a month, two weeks a year. I applaud him for going through BT and AIT. He is a member of the Guard, 100%, there is no denying it. He is not a soldier, you are not an Army wife. It's nothing to be ashamed of. "

This one made me laugh out loud. You want people to stop jumping down your throat when you condescendingly tell them that their service - or that of their spouse - isn't the same as your husband's because their paycheck comes from the state instead of Uncle Sam? Howzabout you just stop saying these things to people? That might go a long way in helping them not want to smack you. Proverbs 17:28 tells us "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. " You are welcome to your opinion but you cannot be surprised by the consequences you face when you air that opinion - especially if it is condescending, short-sighted, and ill-informed.

But the best quote in the entire post actually comes from her husband in the comments. And, really, it makes me sad to think that the Army - active duty or not - has people who have nothing better to do than sit around and worry about this kind of stuff.

"What most of you don't understand, since you are National Guard, related to one, or married to one, is that it really bothers any active duty, full time, Regular Army soldier to be compared to national guard."

I brought this up with MacGyver this morning after he had come home from PT. He laughed out loud and said "Heck no. It doesn't bother us. We ENVY them!" No one that I know in the active duty Army (and MacGyver's been in for 13+ years and we've been stationed in 5 locations, not counting Basic and AIT or other TDY locations) has EVER expressed any form of frustration/anger/negative feeling upon comparison with the National Guard. They envy the NG soldiers (yes, 'soldiers'...because that is what they are. A Chinook pilot in the NG is the SAME THING as a Chinook pilot in the AD Army - their paychecks just come from a different location). The active duty people we know in the Army are too busy doing their jobs to worry about what someone thinks about what branch of the military they belong to.

What "Hubs" doesn't seem to understand is that HE is the only one that this bothers. HE is the one harboring the inferiority complex that shines through in this attitude. Everyone else is too busy doing their jobs to get their BVDs in a bunch over something as trivial and ridiculous as this. Sounds like "Hubs" might need to find something else to occupy his time. As for his wife, my husband would be embarrassed if I were to put something of that nature up on the internet for the world to see.

To my National Guard friends and anyone reading this: than you for your service to your state and to this country. I hope that none of you take this woman's opinion (or that of her husband) to heart. As for this woman, I truly hope that time and experience will alter her perspective on this subject. She's obviously lacking for a mentor and for wisdom.


- hfs


Anonymous said...

I'm not an Army Wife (regular or Guard) so I'm glad you pointed out the differences there--although I have known Guard guys here that have been deployed WAY closer together than 4 years so I knew that was wrong. Also, good friends of ours, he is Guard AND full-time(not a lot of those jobs I know) AND wears his uniform to work every day.

The money quote for me was this:
"Respect the uniform itself. Don't put it on and take sexy pictures with it, with boobs/butt falling out all over the place. That's just trashy. A fun picture with his cover on is one thing, flaunting your assests is another." On her sidebar is a picture of her in her hubs uniform with her pregnant belly hanging out. Now, it's not boobs or butt, but it's still a naked body part and not super respectful of the uniform, so I'm not seeing the difference.

I don't have a problem with her having her own opinions, but I do have a problem with the inconsistencies.

*sorry for being Anonymous, I'm a wuss at heart*

Shelle said...

She needs a mentor--- but she needs to accept that she needs a mentor. A milspouse all of six months and she knows the drill. GOod for her.

Pogue said...

My, she is going a little Gisele Bundchen, isn't she? :-) Seriously, her opinion doesn't bother me at all. She's been an Army wife for all of six months and probably doesn't realize how little she knows about either the Army or the National Guard. I take it as the enthusiasm of the recent convert. I would be interested in seeing her review her post in about 5 years and see if she feels the same way. I can't see the comments on her page so I can't comment on her husbands remarks, though given her lack of experience on the subject she's probably channeling his opinions. I think she does a far greater disservice to Army wives than to the National Guard.

Homefront Six said...

Anon ~ I noticed that (the hypocrisy) and decided it was too easy. I didn't have a problem with the picture as much as I did the hypocrisy itself. Notice she has since taken the picture down (along with the comments).

Shelle ~ she does need a mentor. Sadly, given the fact that there is not an AD Army base where she lives - just NG. Hmm...

Pogue ~ you are right. She did a major disservice to AD military spouses and that frustrates me. And you're very right - her inexperience shines through. I can only hope that time (and this experience) will temper that opinion and grant her (and her husband) some wisdom.

From what I hear, his command has involved themselves and he has received counseling. I truly hope this doesn't negatively impact his career, however I wonder if a recruiting slot is the best placement for this soldier at this point in his career. That being said, he is an NCO and he should have known better than to voice that kind of opinion on the internet.

Crista said...

You summed it up the best I've seen yet with your scripture quote. I can't imagine being an Army wife of six months and spouting off like that. Truly boggles my mind.

Homefront Six said...

I had lots and lots of opinions when I was a newly married, relatively young Army wife. My friend P laughs heartily now at some of the crap I used to spout off (I used to be quite liberal, didn't like guns, wasn't a fan of the military, pro-public school/union/etc. But then 9/11 happened and I had my first child days after that and I had a HUGE paradigm shift. A painful process but definitely an eye-opening one too.). I hope that experience will help her see a bigger picture and smooths out the rough edges of her opinions.

Crista said...

I was too afraid to have opinions!! rofl

Now I'm old and tired and cynical and just don't care anymore. pfffttt

Mary said...

To repeat a quote I have seen used (WW II? Vietnam?)in the context of who is the better soldier: "they all bleed red [and white and blue]".

kate said...

If I had had the opportunity I would have reminded this Army wife that on the battlefield, both NG and Regular Army bleed red....and die like soldiers. I'm sorry for her naivety, her elitism, and her ignorance. She's just wrong on so many levels. She needs a mentor and she needs forgiveness.

Homefront Six said...

Kate ~ and not in that order.


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